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On his way through the woods to his marriage, Fadinard's horse eats the hat of a married lady spending here a few moments with her lover. Fadinard has to find the very same rare hat to avoid her dishonor. This will greatly disturb his own marriage. Written by
"Un Chapeau De Paille D'Italie" can be considered, by this German count's standards, as a transgressor silent film in spite of its classical conventionalism; this particular Teutonic riddle has a Germanic and even logical explanation that will be understood by the longhaired silent youngsters around the world right now.
"Un Chapeau De Paille D'Italie" was directed by the great but French silent director Herr René Clair in the silent year of 1928, after he had directed important, avant-garde, experimental and overall, non conventional silent oeuvres such "Entr'acte" (1924), "Paris Qui Dort" (1925), "Le Voyage Imaginaire" (1925) or "La Tour" (1928); so, having this in mind, then the Germanic assessment mentioned before by this Herr Graf has a solid basis. "Un Chapeau " is a completely different and classic film in comparison with those earlier Clair films and this doesn't mean that "Un Chapeau " is a minor work in Herr Clair 's career; on the contrary, the film is a remarkable, stylized and even provocative comedy.
The incident of the Italian straw hat occurs just before our hero marries, and leads to a series of well placed and paced episodes. The elegant and hilarious scenes depicting the troubles and crossed situations among the just married couple and their wedding guests with the adulterous couple, achieve very remarkable moments. The skillful use of the camera emphasizes the rhythm depending the different scenes, and includes the camera tricks and techniques that Herr Clair was so fond of. The result is a vigorous and sophisticated comedy with a irreverent undercurrent subject in the main plot: a just married man must assume the complicated task of protecting an adulterer.
Helping our hero in such a hazardous mission are excellent supporting actors, playing peculiar characters who are involved unnoticed in this peculiar wedding and will suffer the happenings around the Italian straw hat, a hilarious gallery of guests who have had the misfortune to be part of such a troublesome wedding.
The film is placed at the end of the old XIX century probably in order to take advantage of the human behaviours and fashion of those old times in which the ladies wore elegant hats ( those fräuleins of nowadays showing their loose hair in public!, Mein Gott! ). There is a careful atmosphere of ancient and decadent custom ( faithful characteristics, after all, in Herr Clair films ) that suits the film perfectly. Herr Clair has directed a "classic", stylized and cynical silent comedy that has the same original merits of his most experimental early works.
And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must find his Prussian helmet in order to eat his breakfast properly.
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